Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Hmm... raised quite near Baltimore myself, I've seen it labeled chocolate cake, but it's not, it's yellow cake with chocolate frosting... I'll get a Texans thoughts on it when I talk to GB next...

By Blogger Amie, at 11:16 AM  

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Friday, December 10, 2004  

It looks like this cake thing is not gender or age based, but is a regional designation. My assistant, who grew up in New York merely blinks at me, shrugs, and says “butter cake with chocolate frosting” but my children’s librarian, who grew up in Baltimore says that “everybody knows it’s chocolate cake”. Tidewater or Chesapeake Bay - the chocolate cake conundrum continues.

No matter what - we have our wedding cake and it is not chocolate in any form. It’s 4 layers of fine textured pound cake, 2 of them almond flavored, and frosted in my kind of butter cream frosting - one with the sweetness cut with a faint dash of salt. I know, I know, the Martha Stewarts of this world insist upon buttercream frosting made with unsalted butter, but that makes me a little bilious and I have always made mine with salted butter and cream. I didn’t ask the good ol’ boy baker what he uses - but I know there’s a hint of salt in his frosting and it is absolutely perfect.

The cake buying expedition was totally delightful. Our first stop was at Jean Jacques Bakery, where we were charmed and entertained by the cutest French émigré. We were a little late, but it turned out to be no problem, as there had been what Mr. JJ called an akseedont weess ze meexair. He was spattered with chocolate and excused himself to change. Then he brought out his forms, his photos and his cake samples. I will confess, I had no intention of buying a cake from this bakery because the starting price was about double what my budget. But I really wanted to know what a $700 cake tasted like, I absolutely love this bakery, and we had to start somewhere.

We had an hour of the most delightful introduction to the Wedding Cake Experience. The cake was a chiffon cake and the fillings were perfection. The frosting, alas, was saltless. And before I had to come up with a prevaricating answer about our choice, Mr. JJ asked where the wedding was. Tappahannock? Whair eess zat? Ohhhh nonono. I do not deeleevair zo fahr. We were smiles all around, and in fact, I could see him melting beneath the gaze of the blue eyed blonde Bride, so I bet we could have worked on him if we had pleaded - if we were going to buy - which we weren’t.

But - he will make a little wedding cake for a birthday cake if you ask - and I think that for some future birthday - I will ask.

The whole experience was utter magic and as we got into the car I warned Bride that I couldn’t promise her the same experience at the next stop - but I’d bet it would have a charm of its own. Good Ol’ Boy baker is the guy who has fished on Hundley’s Pond for the past 30 years. So we tooled on out to the west end. The Westhampton Pastry Shop is one of those old fashioned neighborhood shops. It’s been there 50 years. It’s cozy and small, though there were 3 clerks busy and another 5 or 6 people working in the back. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers own it and have baked together for a quarter century. And they are darlings. Down home, practical, but warm and generous and in a really busy environment with lots of customers, everyone working there was happy. Cheerful, friendly, smiling warm people. A good sign.

We flipped through the large book of photos and found several that Bride liked. (I like them all - the gaudy, the delicate, the formal) and then we tasted the samples. Yes! This was exactly what both Bride and I had in mind. Fine textured, delicate pound cake with just the right frosting. Price was right as well. Alas, they don’t deliver either, though Mr. R. said “I promise you I won’t sell you a heartache in a box.” Mrs. R showed us how the cakes are packed and how to assemble them. When I wheedled just a little, Mr. R said “I’m sorry. It’s a Saturday, isn’t it? I’ll be delivering all over town that day.” and Mrs. R chided him and said “That’s January. We’ll be dead as doornails then. I think you could deliver.” And we left it at that. I have enough Richmond friends. LD can go get the thing. We can work it out. What was important was that we had the cake - the last of the big items to nail down.

There’s still plenty of work to do, but no more huge decisions. Whew. And I have a weekend ahead to sew on TheWeddingDress. I can’t sit down to the sewing machine till Saturday afternoon. BH is throwing a shower brunch for Bride. But I have Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday to work on it. I’ll be at the point, on Sunday night, where I can tell how much longer the dress will take and that’s how much time I’ll take off next week.

In addition to vacation time, I’ll be using up a little sick leave too, to visit an ENT Dr. My head is still swimming, mostly in the morning, or any time I let my head lie prone. Some nights it swirls all night long. Sleep has been spotty this week. Once I’m up and going, I seem to be okay, but gad! Some mornings the actual getting up process makes me sick no matter how careful I am about it.

And in about an hour I get another shot at the perfect haircut - so I must dash.

posted by Bess | 6:47 AM